Prepare fully to be the athlete you dream of being

The Legends Marathon weekend on September 24 is likely to take on the guise of a festival of running and whether entered in either the 68km ultra distance or the exciting 60:11 half marathon that has been packaged to remember the incredible feats of true running legends of the half marathon, there is some serious preparation required over the five weeks that follow.

A number of people have been credited with the quote, or adage, that “if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right”. With every major challenge faced you will find that to be true.

All the athletes that I either coach or offer advice to are told quite emphatically that if you go into any race of a reasonable magnitude with a haphazard attitude, don’t bother to pitch up.

On the other hand those runners who absolutely know that “this is what I want to do and I want to be at my very best” will be the ones who achieve.

A race over 68km is not a Sunday morning jaunt and every runner should be properly prepared physically, mentally and emotionally.

Likewise a race over the fastest 21.1km course in Africa should be absorbed, lived and run to show just how good we really are. Good within the confines of our personal dreams and goals, no-one else’s.

There are some magical coaches in our sport – artists in fact. Some hardworking honest and methodical ones and, as with anything else, some who just make by.

The reason comparisons are being shared is to add substance to the next statement.

Bobby McGee is and always was, to my mind, the greatest distance coach South Africa produced, only for us to lose him to the United States just before the turn of the century.

He authored a book titled Magical Running, a unique read in respect of our sport.

Getting back to realising dreams, McGee says there are two key steps in the process of achieving your running dreams:

1. Be – In order to train like a runner who achieves what you desire from your running, you need to be that kind of runner. In other words you need to display the traits of such a runner. If it requires discipline, dedication, commitment and passion, then you’d better be disciplined, dedicated, committed and passionate.

2. Do – Once you are such a runner, then and only then, will you be able to do what such runners with these traits do to achieve what they want.

He concludes: “by first ‘being’ and then ‘doing’ what it takes, we assure success”.

Most often when surveying the runners at the start of a race one is able to see who won’t win the race, based on body language.

The Legends races will be no different.

Catch up with my coaching thoughts at www.boastrunningsuccess.co.za or e-mail bob@boastrunningsucess.co.za or message BOaST on facebook.

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